China seeks drones to monitor islands

BEIJING — China said Monday that it plans to use unmanned drones to conduct marine surveillance by 2015 as it tries to increase its presence around uninhabited East China Sea islands at the center of a dispute with Japan.

While still years away, the planned deployment comes as relations between the sides continue to be roiled by fury in China over the Japanese government’s purchase of the islands this month from their private Japanese owners.

As part of efforts to contain the fallout, Japan on Monday dispatched a vice foreign minister to meet with his Chinese counterpart for talks on the state of relations between the countries.

Li Mousheng, a spokesman for China’s State Oceanic Administration, said the decision to deploy drones followed a successful test Sunday. He offered no details on the test, but cited state media reports that said China aims to have drones and monitoring bases in place by 2015.

The reports didn’t say when the drones would be deployed around the islands, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan. China has been aggressively developing unmanned aircraft for both civilian and military purposes, with missions ranging from guiding missile strikes to monitoring grain crops.

Chinese outrage over the Japanese government’s purchase of the islands sparked days of sometimes violent street protests in scores of cities around China. Numerous informal boycotts of Japanese products have been launched and China has dispatched government marine monitoring vessels to patrol around the islands.

Taiwan, which has an overlapping claim, has registered a formal protest. On Monday, several dozen Taiwanese fishing boats set out for the islands from the east coast port of Suao in what was being termed an apolitical protest to protect access to traditional fishing grounds.

— Associated Press

  • Musson

    I was in Charleston, SC this weekend and someone was trying out a variety of drones. I saw a six propeller helicoper and a much larger triangular shaped drone flying over Ft. Sumpter that reminded me of the old Beechcraft Starship airplane.

  • SLBMs, stealth fighters, drones… China is becoming a superpower. You have to respect its sphere of influence.

    • Obama


    • Tiger

      Already A superpower…..

  • SecretSquid

    Interesting that the UAV acquisition is by China’s State Oceanic Administration, rather than PLANAF. China’s civil maritime agencies are playing an expanded role in China’s increasingly assertive enforcement of its claims to disputed maritime territories. South China Sea is now “Lebensraum with Chinese characteristics.”

  • Scott

    I will have much more respect for China’s military power if they stop using Whitewall tires from the 1950s on their state of the art military vehicles.

  • Lance

    Funny monitor islands that are so tiny they unlikely could hold a barracks for 50 troops.

  • Busteroo52

    I just don’t get it. With all the stuff going on in both countries, especially CHINA…having to provide food for all their people, energy needs, buying what is left of Aftica and the Mideast for sale, snark snark…..Afterall….the Japanese OWNED them to begin with….only the gov. bought them from private owners….so what is all the damn fuss…..jeeeeshh…some countries, their cultures are just so different than ours…seems kinda crazy sometimes….and then again…sometimes it is!! :-)

  • john

    I am SO digging those white wall tires…I want some!!!

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    As i tell my friends in the US defense industry the US is responsible for the rapid advance of the Chinese military. We buy their products that allow them to build their military and they steal whatever else they need.

  • Rob

    No worries everyone, Japan will build a Godzilla robot to take these drones out :D

  • JJ6000

    Rather than monitoring islands, I would think it’s very likely that these drones actually form part of the ASBM system – giving the chinese the ability to locate and target US carrier groups. I would expect to see the chinese develop an even more extensive drone network for “monitoring” or “scientific” purposes.

  • doningram

    this is not 1941. the position of a majority of the USA vessels are monitored and recorded, by other means, so the idea of drones to watch for shipping is only a small part of the picture. the drones are what they are: unmanned weapons with long range flight and weapon inventory. china’s sphere of influence is the ? as they are located more than the proverbial 200 miles from mainland china. japan is much closer. there is a hugh possibility that this is all a bunch of saber rattling as neither can afford a conflict due to trade $$. the loss of revenue from the USA is astronomical and we have their money in our pockets. the white walled tires give them more MPG “try it”

    • blight_

      “the position of a majority of the USA vessels are monitored and recorded, by other means”

      By the immense number of spy planes? OTH radar? Innumerable spy planes?

      You need an immense ISR complex to monitor an entire ocean. Those drones look awful small and may not have the loiter time for days or the sensor payload to be effective.

  • yoyo

    I think a danger here is more collisions a la the 2001 P-3 debacle.

  • orly?

    I thought we shouldn’t fear the Chinese?

    Asia’s not important right?

  • Hunter76

    “Pinnacle Islands” was good enough for the British Navy in the 19th c. It’ll do for me. Let the Chinese and the Japanese fight whether it’s Diaoyu or Senkaku. It’s not about the islands, it’s about the seafloor and payback.

  • Ron

    We are not having the short end of the stick should we end up knocking the Great Wall of China, we have allies that wants a piece of pie, don’t think India will sit in idle or even Russia the point is China will go solo if we reach the point of no return plus China knows the US military might, they will have the short end of the stick if the test us, guaranteed.

  • Roland

    It is most likely Japan and China,; and Iran and Israel will end up into conflict.. And we (US and NATO) may end up being drag from it. We (US) should prepare physically and spiritually.

  • Vin

    Walmart is having a sale on Chinese made drones

  • Aegistech77

    We have fought multiple fronts before.. Funny thing is our real deterrants are not even factored in yet.. You think china knows were are ssbn’s are?? Comon.. Might indeed we still are..

  • Aegistech77

    We have fought multiple fronts before.. Funny thing is our real deterrants are not even factored in yet.. You think china knows were are ssbn’s are? Comon.. Might indeed we still are.

  • Matrix3692

    the news of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning is all over the chinese news, i thought DT are interested in that topic.

  • doc young

    We DO NOT WANT CHINA WITH DRONES!!!! First off they say that the drones are for their Maritime Division of Government, (Thinly veiled mask for PLAN) Second, the islands are in the EAST China Sea , they have historical claims by China, Japan, The Phillipines, and a host of others. Third, who are they really looking for ? The fishing boats from Viet-Nam, The Phillipines, Cambodia, Bangladesh,Japan, Sri-Lanka, Australia ? WHO????? Or are they looking for US Military??????

  • Stephen

    I think the WW tyres are very cool, they need something cool because when you look at the CN government agencies as a whole they are all a bunch of deceptive thugs.. The only thing that works from the top to the bottom is back handers and I hope everyone realises this, when was the last time you got something honest out of China…
    I think the US government should stop all money transactions stateside to china for three business days then see who gets really worried…..